The Zionist Conspiracy
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Rabbi Mayer Schiller On Sports and Judaism
(Sent by Rabbi Schiller via e-mail and posted with his permission.)
When I was working with the editor of [the Torah u-Maddah] journal on the original piece I said to him that I was writing it in order to explain why I coach (now "coached" I retired after the 1996 season) the MTA hockey team.
Essentially, the article put forth my belief that non-prohibited aspects of the beriah were given to us by G-d to bring us joy, and uplift and insight and that all three must make us better ovdei Hashem.
Your two examples of persevering with the Rangers till '94 and, of course, the wondrous tale of Herb Brooks and his young dragon slayers are each important in their own right.
There are shining instances of dogged loyalty, in the case for those who remained with the Blueshirts from 1940, and, of prevailing against all odds in the case of Eruzione, Craig, Pav and the others.
However, most Orthodox Jews believe that outside of Torah study and parnosa needs, nothing in G-d's world has value. Following this position the world is fall of things that strike us powerfully as beautiful, tragic, uplifting, yielding love and a sense of the Divine but are really just a trick of the yetzer horah. This always struck me as a very nasty image of the Creator about Whom we say, three times day, that he is "Good to all . . . ."
Of course, I could be wrong. But a man can only grasp reality as he grasps it and pray to Hashem that he protect us from error.